I like to upload academic and medical study PDFs and have GPT4 explain them on a 10th or 12th grade level. Most of these studies are terrible academic and scientific writing, so having GPT4 specifically aim for a high school level explanation allows enough complexity to start to understand a subject, but is still simple enough that it necessarily strips out the jargon. Not a specific prompt, I know, but a method from my personal learning playbook.

I also use it to edit and/or copyedit my own articles. I do not allow it to rewrite. I only ask that it tells me the copyediting errors, which I then correct myself.

I also ask what would make this article better, and it often has some good ideas. Once again, I implement the ideas myself.

It tends to blow smoke and compliment you too much, so you have to push it with prompts like “how would someone counter this argument” if you want real criticism.

I find it mentally much easier when the computer points it out to when a human editor does it, which makes me more defensive about my work.

Expand full comment

Grimoire --> thanks for a new word.

I'm on Windows and use something called AutoHotkey to expand short keystrokes into longer content. There are tons of things that do this, I'm just saying it's my grimoire.

I like Dr. Phil Hardmann, and she has a prompt for instructional design:

You are an expert instructional designer. You are designing a college physics course for students who are taking the course online and are required to take the course for their major.

Using only reliable and well-cited data, profile your target learner's demographics, intrinsic motivations and Zone of Proximal Development.

The insights you generate must help me to:

* Ensure genuine learner interest by aligning the topic with intrinsic motivation, leading to higher engagement, retention and achievement.

* Connect the learning experience to learners' personal and professional beliefs, drivers, and values to enhance intrinsic motivation and engagement.

* Clearly communicate the immediate relevance and value of the learning experience, such as passing this required class, to motivate learners to participate.

* Identify the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) for learners, offering an optimal streatch for engagement and motivation, leading to better learning outcomes.

* Implement "desireable difficulty" to challenge learners without overwhelming them, fostering a sense of achievement and growth.

* Minimize barriers and design learning experiences that fit into learner's daily routines, allowing flexibility, e.g. integration with their other class schedules.

Output: a summary of key information about my target learners as defined above. Also a list of all your sources so that I can verify your findings.

Expand full comment

I wonder how your comments about prompt libraries can be informed by or complemented by the custom instructions feature which OpenAI recently introduced. Since I started using the custom instructions, I've found that ChatGPT's responses to my queries are much better, where "better" means "aligns with my interests and way of thinking."

Since I am sure someone will ask what my custom instructions are, I copied them verbatim from this person: https://twitter.com/nivi/status/1683621899254001665?s=61&t=N1l1tVReo5eztKrVibIZdw&fbclid=IwAR1dxtXxwxaHJbKqOBdAGS2aKsRqqG9okietaEjT58leYGDpv9RdTjBQ1VA

Expand full comment

I always find immense joy in reading your posts. Your commitment to helping individuals harness the power of AI to enhance their lives and the world is truly admirable.

Have you ever thought about integrating state-of-the-art AI Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology to make your content even more accessible? Personally, I sometimes find it easier to "listen" to written content.

While I'm aware that Substack offers a TTS feature on mobile, there are more sophisticated TTS models available that can significantly elevate the listening experience.

As an illustration, I've processed "Now is the time for grimoires" using ElevenLabs. I often use this platform to "listen" to captivating articles, allowing me to digest the content more effectively. I thought you might find it intriguing and potentially beneficial.

Here's the link to check it out, loaded to YouTube for the easy sharing: https://youtu.be/QIPs1LDRkf4.

Expand full comment

My grimoire is a little convoluted and is used for creating data visualisations, multi-step using code interpreter with your dataset uploaded.

Prompt 1:

You are DataExplorerGPT a thorough and experienced Data Scientist.

Perform a thorough exploratory data analysis on this dataset, return results only as tables

Let's think about this in a step by step manner to ensure we get the best results

Prompt 2:

You are InsightGPT a thorough and experienced Data Analyst

Review the previous responses and suggest 20 different insights that could be gleaned from the dataset

Prompt 3:

You are ResearcherGPT tasked with investigating the InsightGPT response options provided

List the flaws and faulty logic of each answer option then provide a rating as to how useful the insight might be to chart

Let's work this out in a step by step way to be sure we have all the errors

Prompt 4:

You are ResolverGPT tasked with

1) finding the Top 10 answers options the researcher thought was best

2) Extracting those 10 insights from the dataset in to tables

Let's work this out in a step by step way to be sure we have the right answer

Prompt 5:

Ignore my previous request to only respond with tables

Based on ResolverGPT's responses please provide the insights as seaborn charts and descriptions,

Please respond for each insight as:

Insight Title


Chart Description

use code interpreter to complete this request

I have the results here: https://medium.com/ai-mind-labs/beyond-limitations-improving-data-interpretation-with-chatgpt-code-interpreter-4a889dc43d65

Expand full comment

Very good points here. I am constantly surprised by the number of teachers on Facebook who ask about AI tools for specific tasks instead of playing around with prompts until they get the perfect one.

It would be amazing to have a Wikipedia of prompts, would you like to start one for us? 😄

I’ve created a prompt library for Language teacher prompts (https://mflprompts.notion.site/Languages-Teaching-Prompts-Homepage-7ca4eb92c1d1419a820e4bf5d9c5376b?pvs=4) but it would be great if other people could add more and extend it to other teaching subjects or other areas. A system of giving out “likes” for prompts that have worked well would also be useful. That could put a lot of new AI websites out of business!

Expand full comment
Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

I suggest you check out Stunspot's discord channel and flowgpt.

You can reduce the number of tokens used to preserve context window space.

There's also Pi that is a lot more conversational than chatGPT.

And Character.ai founded by Noam Shazeer (of the main authors of Attention is all you need) is also extensively using personas.

Expand full comment

I love the title. I’m developing a grimoire myself and I love it; I think it will be the test for the technomages - did one build oneself a grimoire.

I opted for a personalized grimoire, so I bound a demoness to it; her name is Lilith, and she is quite entertaining.

Ethan, it’s available online if you need to demo a grimoire.

Expand full comment

I struggle giving feedback to others, but did some research and came up with the following prompt to help me prepare to deliver hard feedback well:

I need to give some feedback to some else and I need to prepare to do so well. Ask the following points one by one, and ask me follow up questions if my answer is unclear and doesn't match what is required: 1. Get Buy-In: Start the conversation by asking a concise and significant question that requires a simple agreement. This helps in engaging the person. For example: "Can we take a few minutes to discuss your performance on the recent project?" 2. Provide Clear Data: Share specific details about the feedback, removing any vague or ambiguous words that could cause confusion. For example: Instead of saying "You're always late," you might say, "I noticed that you were late to the last three team meetings." 3. Impact Statement: Explain how the data point has personally affected you or the team's workflow. For example: "Your tardiness has caused delays in our project timeline and has impacted the team's overall productivity." 4. Wrap Up with a Question: Conclude by framing the feedback within a question that seeks alignment for future actions. This invites collaboration and ensures a shared understanding of the way forward. For example: "How can we work together to ensure that this doesn't happen in the future?"

Expand full comment

I tested the prompt found that I need to add the phrase “wait for answer before asking a question” before questions 2, 3, and 4, otherwise it will ask all questions at once.

Also I add to the last prompt line to “perform all tasks in .... language” . And it turn all interactions in the identified language perfectly.

Thank you very much.

Expand full comment
Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

Your sample tutor prompt works very well in ChatGPT-4...3.5, not so much. I know this, you know this, but most faculty are not paying for ChatGPT plus, and probably fewer students. How are you dealing with the issue of equitable access? Will you require all students to pay for GPT Plus subscriptions? I would like to hear your thoughts (and the thoughts of others) on how we can best respond to the, now much larger, digital divide.

Expand full comment

Excellent post, Ethan. I personally find that time spent with the model is the most important aspect of getting a good result, but you're quite correct to draw attention to the other two necessary (but not sufficient) conditions: that of understanding what you hope to achieve (incredible that many of us forget this simple advice), and domain expertise.

Expand full comment

Bing creative mode does not follow the instructions as well as Chatgpt-4 or even 3.5, but anyway, this is incredible. Thank you professor!

Expand full comment

Really great posts, a wiki project to collect quality prompts would be a good start,

on that note, have anyone come upt with good prompts on extracting insights /doing summary on long form articles/books?

Expand full comment

Today’s guide from open AI for use in teaching does exactly what you recommend - really good insights, thank you.

Expand full comment
Aug 29, 2023·edited Aug 29, 2023

Just an observation but I see a resemblance with the Internet as being akin to Ancient Greece and Athens with its emphasis on the gathering of knowledge and its exploration collation and ordering - whereas AI seems more 'Roman' with its determination to utilise combine all that knowledge into practicalities - Aqueducts and Roads.

To stretch this metaphor to Appian proportions AI itself is akin to the greatest Roman project of force projection - in the beginning Rome used the phalanx from the Greeks - which like early AI was a matter of brute strength massed and at scale to solve problems but the Romans realised the phalanx was useless outside of the home turf of flat plains, so the first adopted the maniple system - akin to the first ChatGPT etc, but even this had limitation and traded flexibility for strength.

Realising they had to combine the two the Romans finally settled on the Cohort - small solid but flexible and able to utilise the power of the whole legion but nimble enough to react and adapt to individual issues which is us the individual users and small teams employing prompts and iterations etc whilst still harnessing the power of the whole.

PAIX MUNDUS perhaps?

Expand full comment